Prosecutors say Democratic HQ arson suspect has mental health issues

Jul 30, 2020, 1:12 PM
Fire investigators stand outside the Arizona Democratic Party headquarters Friday, July 24, 2020, i...

Fire investigators stand outside the Arizona Democratic Party headquarters Friday, July 24, 2020, in Phoenix. Fire investigators are looking into the cause of an early morning blaze that destroyed part of the Arizona and Maricopa County Democratic Party headquarters Friday. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX (AP) — Prosecutors say the man accused of setting fire to the Arizona and Maricopa County Democratic headquarters has severe mental health issues.

During an initial court appearance in Phoenix on Wednesday, prosecutors said the father of 29-year-old Matthew Egler had been trying to get him mental health treatment.

They cited Egler’s claims on social media to be Ivanka Trump’s husband and the father of her child as further evidence of possible mental illness.

When given the chance to speak, Egler pulled out a piece of paper that he said was a waiver from the U.S. Secret Service to look at his medical records. He also asked for the name of a Secret Service agent who interviewed him because he “passed a note to Ivanka Trump — one of many notes that I have passed to her.”

Egler, who lives in Peoria, faces one count of arson of an occupied structure. He was ordered released on a $75,000 bond.

The Associated Press was not able to locate an attorney for him Thursday. And a message left at a cellphone number for a family member was not returned.

The blaze, which broke out shortly before 1 a.m. July 24 a few miles north of downtown Phoenix, destroyed mostly the area of the building used by county Democrats. The fire destroyed electronics, phone-banking equipment, campaign literature and years of candidate and organizing information, party officials said.

Surveillance video captured a suspect breaking glass doors, placing some sort of incendiary device in the building and then setting it on fire.

Investigators traced the car seen on the video to a family member of Egler’s, according to charging documents. Authorities say he also admitted to starting the fire on social media. Egler was retaliating after being rejected by county Democrats as a volunteer, the documents said. He had previously volunteered for them but was banned for his behavior.

His next court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 7.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Airbnb Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Airbnb makes party ban policy permanent, says it had big impact in Arizona

Airbnb said Tuesday its party ban has been so effective, especially in Arizona, that the vacation rental platform is making the policy permanent.
11 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Phoenix police shoot armed suspect near 52nd Street and Thomas Road

Phoenix police shot and critically wounded a man they said pointed a gun at them during a confrontation Monday evening.
11 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Goodyear Police Department)...

1 killed at Goodyear home; police search for suspect

Police are searching for a suspect who fled the scene of a homicide at a Goodyear home early Tuesday.
11 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Here’s a map of Fourth of July events taking place across metro Phoenix

Fourth of July is one of the staples of summer and there are plenty of events occurring around the metro Phoenix area where you can celebrate America's birthday.
11 hours ago
(Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon NPS)...

Grand Canyon National Park tourism generated $710 million for local economy in 2021

Tourism in Grand Canyon National Park brought in $710 million for the local economy in 2021, according to a report released Monday.
11 hours ago
(University of Arizona Photo/Chris Richards)...
Kevin Stone

UArizona offers free tuition for Native American undergraduate students

The University of Arizona is making undergraduate education free for Native American students at the Tucson campus.
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Prosecutors say Democratic HQ arson suspect has mental health issues